Georgia-Florida Speedweeks Q&A
By Todd TurnerDirtonDirt.com managing editor
Georgia-Florida Speedweeks for Super Late Models get rolling next week with 19 events at six dirt tracks over 16 days. Racing is scheduled from Feb. 8-23 at Screven Motor Speedway in Sylvania, Ga.; Waycross (Ga.) Motor Speedway; North Florida Speedway in Lake City; East Bay Raceway Park near Tampa, Fla.; Bubba Raceway Park in Ocala, Fla., and Volusia Speedway Park in Barberville. Question and answers about the busy stretch of racing:
What is Speedweeks? It’s the traditional season kick off for Dirt Late Model racing going back more than 40 years, with long-time tracks East Bay and Volusia leading the way. Other Florida, and frequently south Georgia tracks, typically also get a taste of the action. | Complete Speedweeks previews
Who will be racing? The Who’s Who of Super Late Model drivers in the country, including standouts on the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series (East Bay) and World of Outlaws Late Model Series (Screven, Ocala, Volusia), national tours launching their seasons in warmer climes. The 19 races combined are expected to draw about 150 competitors, including many regional and unheralded drivers who enjoy a Sunshine State vacation while doing a little racing.
Is 19 race the most in Speedweeks history? If weather doesn’t stop any of the races, 19 races over 16 days would mark a record for Super Late Models. There were 22 races over 25 days scheduled between Georgia and Florida in 2008, but after four rainouts, 18 events were completed. There were also 18 races in 2012.
Are there any new tracks for 2013? Five tracks — Screven, Waycross, East Bay, Ocala and Volusia — hosted races last year, but North Florida Speedway is hosting its first Super Late Model Speedweeks action since 1998 when Missouri’s Leslie Essary and Alabama’s Greg Skinner grabbed Northern Allstars Late Model Series events at the Lake City, Fla., oval.
What’s the richest race? The third race at Bubba Raceway Park pays $20,000-to-win, the richest single-day Speedweeks purse since 2002.
Is it the richest Speedweeks ever? Not quite. In 2008, $168,000 in winning purses were doled out. This year $163,000 in winning purse money is on the line. Besides Ocala’s rich finale, Volusia is stepping up to host four straight $10,000-to-win events, a first for Speedweeks at the half-mile track.
What was noteworthy about last year’s Speedweeks? There were a Speedweeks record six multiple-race winners led by Steve Francis, who won two races at East Bay and one at Volusia. Two-race winners were Darrell Lanigan (Screven, Ocala); Jonathan Davenport (Waycross, Golden Isles); Don O’Neal (East Bay); Dennis Erb Jr. (East Bay, Volusia); and Billy Moyer (Volusia).
Who is the all-time winningest Speedweeks driver? Billy Moyer by a long shot. He owns more than 40 career Speedweeks victories, including a track-leading 21 at East Bay and 18 at Volusia.
Who are other active drivers among the winningest at Speedweeks? Don O’Neal has 13 victories at East Bay and seven at Volusia. Steve Francis has 10 East Bay victories and four at Volusia. Scott Bloomquist has seven Volusia victories and five at East Bay, while Rick Eckert also owns seven Volusia victories and has won three times at East Bay.
What’s new at Screven? Instead of a single two-day show for the World of Outlaws, the track will host two complete programs paying $8,000 and $10,000 to the winners.
What’s new at Waycross? In addition to the $10,000-to-win Super Late Model event, the track has added a $4,000-to-win event for the Limited Late Models of the National Late Model Series ($3,000-to-win if there are fewer than 20 entrants).
What’s new at East Bay? The Lucas Oil Series has added a pair of $1,000-to-win non-qualifiers’ races for the last two races, the only points events of the week.
What’s new at Bubba Raceway Park? Late Models will run as the sole division and the three complete WoO race programs shift to Friday-Sunday (last year it was Thursday-Saturday).
What’s new at Volusia? The track has added a Six Pack Challenge for every division, including Late Models. Drivers receiving the most votes will square off in a six-car, six-lap dash for cash on Feb. 21. The race pays $500-to-win and $100 apiece to the other five competitors. Vote for your favorite driver.
Georgia-Florida Speedweeks schedule
Feb. 23, WoO, Volusia Speedway Park, Barberville, Fla., $10,000